ADDRESSFACTORY – the most important questions and answers.
- Which product options are available?
- ADDRESSFACTORY WEB – address maintenance via the internet (batch matching)
- ADDRESSFACTORY TAPE for large quantities of data (batch matching)
- ADDRESSFACTORY AUTOMATIC for regular updates (batch matching)
- ADDRESSFACTORY DIRECT – matching in real time (individual matching)
In addition, Deutsche Post Direkt offers DATAFACTORY AUTOCOMPLETE, a service that automatically completes postal data when it is entered. DATAFACTORY AUTOCOMPLETE is based upon Germany’s street directory and is integrated easily into your IT infrastructure via interface connection.
- What is the difference between ADDRESSFACTORY WEB and ADDRESSFACTORY TAPE?
ADDRESSFACTORY WEB is our online tool for checking your addresses and can be used without any problems for address databases of up to 500,000 data records. Upstream test matching offers you optimal cost control. You will only incur charges for a match when you accept the match result. You will then be able to download the cleansed and updated data.
If you wish to check larger address databases or have individual requirements, ADDRESSFACTORY TAPE is at your disposal. Deutsche Post Direkt is happy to perform a test matching of up to three files for you free of charge. We shall charge €75/file for a test matching from four files or more.
- What is a test user? What is the difference to a regular user?
We should like to make it as uncomplicated as possible for you to get to know ADDRESSFACTORY. That is why you are initially set up in our system as a test user. With this status, the functions of ADDRESSFACTORY are restricted to such an extent that no login is required.
As a test user, you can perform five matches with up to 300,000 addresses but without being able to download the detailed results thereafter (see also Restrictions on the test user). You will only receive a summary matching record and an overview of the costs which you would incur for the address matching.
If you wish to use the services of ADDRESSFACTORY WEB to their full extent, it will be necessary to register as a regular user. You can do this at https://service.postdirekt.de/AdminDesk/register.seam. This service comes to you initially totally free of charge. You are not restricted in the number of projects and can match up to 500,000 addresses (per matching run). Once matching has been performed, you will receive a summary matching record and an overview of the costs you would incur for the matching of your addresses. You will not incur any charges for matching until you accept the matching result. You will then be able to download the cleansed data.
Regular users have additional degrees of freedom in the definition of their projects.
- Can private and company addresses be processed using ADDRESSFACTORY?
The range of services of ADDRESSFACTORY has a modular structure. When checking the postal plausibility in the BasicAddressCheck module, it is irrelevant whether it is company or private addresses that are being processed. In the name check (FormalNameCheck) and the deliverability check (PremiumDeliveryCheck) of the relevant addressee, however, both the databases used as reference and the matching algorithms are optimised for processing private addresses. The processing of company addresses therefore generally delivers suboptimal results.
- Are all ADDRESSFACTORY modules used automatically?
You decide which modules you wish to use in your matching for the ADDRESSFACTORY WEB and TAPE product options. Only BasicAddressCheck is mandatory. For all modules other than BasicAddressCheck, FormalNameCheck is also mandatory.
Your adviser at Deutsche Post Direkt will be happy to inform you about the relevant options and will provide you with the appropriate configurations for your matching for the ADDRESSFACTORY AUTOMATIC and DIRECT product options.
- Which modules are currently available?
- BasicAddressCheck (checks an address for the correct street, town/city and postcode)
- FormalNameCheck (correction of names and adding of titles and salutations)
- PremiumDeliveryCheck (person-based, household-based and/or building-based checking of whether an item can be delivered)
- MoveProfessional (provides relocation addresses)
- DoubleClean (checking for duplicates) This module is not available to ADDRESSFACTORY DIRECT
- FileMatch (negative matching against predefined negative files such as fake names and/or Robinson list)
- GeoMatch (address enhancement with geographic data)
- PhoneMatch (enhancement with telephone numbers)
- LocalMatch (enhancement with socio-demographic and micro-geographic information)
- What information should my file contain?
The following matching columns are relevant for a successful matching:
- a unique ID that you can use later to allocate the data record again
- first name
- last name
- house number
- and, where possible, specification of the district, in order to resolve any ambiguities in the address
- What file formats can ADDRESSFACTORY match?
Addressfactory can process TXT and CSV files. The following file formats for input and output files are supported:
- Text (variable column width)
- with the separators comma ,
- semicolon ;
- tilde ~
- hash symbol #
- colon :
- vertical bar │
- Text (fixed column width)
The following character sets are supported: ISO-8859-1, ISO-8859-15, US-ASCII, WINDOWS-1252, UTF-8 and IBM850.
If you have a spreadsheet table, simply save it under ‘File type: Text (tab-delimited)’.
- Text (variable column width)
- How do I define the columns correctly?
Check that the automatically identified format and structure are correct in terms of content. You can select different field functions via the drop-down list. A drop-down menu immediately contains the most important field functions. For example, if you have the street and house number in one column, please define the column as ‘Street_House number_House number suffix’. If the information is available in different columns, please define accordingly, e.g., Street = ‘Street’ + House number+House number suffix = ‘House number_House number suffix’.
An alternative would be: Street = ‘Street’, House number = ‘House number’ and House number suffix = ‘House number suffix’. For example, if you have the name prefix (von, van etc.) + last name in one column, please define the column as ‘Prefix_Last name’.
- How do I define the columns in my posted file correctly?
- first name
- last name
- house number
Define the NAME field
Please define the STRASSE (street) field with ‘Street/House number/House number suffix’. If the information is available in different columns, please define accordingly, e.g., Street = ‘Street’ + House number/House number suffix = ‘House number/House number suffix’. An alternative would be: Street = ‘Street’, House number = ‘House number’ and House number suffix = ‘House number suffix’.
- From what point do I have to pay for a matching? Do I get a preview of the matching result?
You do not incur any changes for a matching until you accept the matching result (see also ‘Accepting the matching result’). Before you accept the matching, you will receive a summary matching record from Deutsche Post Direkt and an overview of the costs you would incur for the matching of your addresses. If the record and the price overview meet your expectations, it is possible for you to accept the matching result. In so doing you also accept the costs incurred and the ‘General Terms and Conditions for ADDRESSFACTORY’ of Deutsche Post Direkt. After accepting the result of the matching, the data are available for you to download.
- What do I receive as a result file?
After batch matching, you will receive a ZIP archive with your result data in your download folder or it will be sent to an (S)FTP server specified by you using an FTP forward. It is also possible for the data to be forwarded to another registered user of Deutsche Post Direkt’s online services. In addition to information from the system – number, data and time of the matching – the file name also includes the name of the input file to make it easier to identify. The content of the ZIP archive varies according to your agreements with Deutsche Post Direkt. In many cases, we shall provide you with an overall result file in the archive. Alternatively, we can also provide you with an archive containing various partial results, e.g., deliverable and non-deliverable data records. Deutsche Post Direkt always returns all the data records provided once they have been processed. Each data record also has status keys added. This reveals how each data record was evaluated and corrected. Thus all the alterations can be traced at all times. It is possible to have the original fields issued. Thus all the alterations can be traced at all times, together with the detailed status keys.
The content of the ZIP archive varies according to your filter settings for the provision of the results. In many cases, we shall provide you with an overall result file in the archive. Alternatively, we can also provide you with various partial results, e.g., deliverable and non-deliverable data records. In particular, if you select a mail-shot project, you should provide the Lettershop only with the file containing the deliverable data records or indicate which files it should use for the mail-shot.
You can find detailed information in our manual or in our online help.
If the transfer to the server specified by you for the ADDRESSFACTORY AUTOMATIC variant should not be possible, your file is not lost but you will be informed by us via e-mail that the files are available for retrieval from our server.
For the ADDRESSFACTORY DIRECT option, you will receive the results directly for each data record.
- Can I match multiple files against one another?
With the ADDRESSFACTORY batch options, you can have multiple files cleansed if you upload multiple files. However, the matching setting must be identical for every file within a project.
If your data are checked for duplicates, the priority order of your files will have an impact on the identification of header duplicates. Your own negative files always have priority over your own positive files.
- Can I match my data against negative files?
You have the option of working with your own or predefined negative files such as the Robinson list from the DDV (German direct marketing association) or fake names lists. We process negative files with the same matching settings with which we also process your positive files. This is absolutely essential in order to be able to reliably identify matching records between positive and negative files. It is not possible to download a cleansed negative file.
Please note: if you upload a negative file to the system, a duplicate check is mandatory.
- What does it cost to cleanse negative files?
Your positive files are matched against your own negative files in the DoubleClean module. For this, €3/1,000 input addresses will be charged in addition to the costs for the positive file.
- Can different match settings be used?
It is possible to use different configurations both in the interface solution and in the online interface. Different match settings can be used in both the automatic interface solutions (ADDRESSFACTORY AUTOMATIC and ADDRESSFACTORY DIRECT) and the online interface of ADDRESSFACTORY WEB for each project. During test operations of the automatic interfaces, a maximum of three configurations can be used.
- How long does a matching with ADDRESSFACTORY WEB or ADDRESSFACTORY AUTOMATIC take?
The matching times vary according to the size of your file to be matched and the scope of the modules to be run through. On average, 300,000 data records are matched in a day.
- What is the difference between mail-shot and address maintenance projects?
In a mail-shot project, the data may only be used for a single mail-shot and will be forwarded directly to a Lettershop of your choice. In address maintenance, you receive the data back, can use it for a mail-shot or enter it in your customer database.
- How can I save a mail-shot file?
In the traditional view, you can download your result under the Ergebnisdateien (result files) tab. In the Filtereinstellungen (filter settings) subdirectory, you have the option of clicking Standardbereitstellung ohne Dubletten (default provision without duplicates). You will also be provided an overall file with the deliverable/non-deliverable addresses, relocation addresses etc.
Under Format und Aufbau (format and structure), you can also select the format of the result file (text, spreadsheet etc.). Furthermore, you can attach the original fields to obtain an old/new matching.
- Can I provide my data in several different formats and with different filter settings? What does multiple provision cost?
With ADDRESSFACTORY WEB, you can, for example, provide a file with the records that have been identified as deliverable from your matching and a file with the records that have been identified as non-deliverable. Multiple provisions are generally free of charge. One-off costs are incurred for the actual matching service but not for the subsequent provision(s).
- How long does Deutsche Post Direkt store the personal data from my matching?
Deutsche Post Direkt generally stores the personal data from your matching for ninety days from receipt. If different deletion periods are required, these can be agreed upon separately.
- How does Deutsche Post Direkt verify the services provided with ADDRESSFACTORY?
Deutsche Post Direkt generally returns every data record uploaded to the customer. In so doing, every data record is enhanced with a ‘status’ field in which the status key is saved. This status key provides detailed information regarding how Deutsche Post Direkt has rated the relevant data record and where this has been changed for what reason.
- How are addresses protected against misuse?
To ensure the secure transfer of address data, when using Deutsche Post Direkt’s online services (https://service.postdirekt.de/), your data are protected with 128-bit SSL encryption when it is transmitted over the internet. You can recognise the SSL protocol from the ‘https’ in front of the URL of the selected page.
- What do the individual ADDRESSFACTORY services cost?
Here you can always find the up-to-date price list for ADDRESSFACTORY TAPE, ADDRESSFACTORY WEB
Here you can find price lists that are always up-to-date: Price list for ADDRESSFACTORY AUTOMATIC and ADDRESSFACTORY DIRECT
Special features of the ADDRESSFACTORY AUTOMATIC option
- What is ADDRESSFACTORY AUTOMATIC?
ADDRESSFACTORY AUTOMATIC is especially useful for companies wanting to cleanse and update their consumer addresses on a regular basis: Automated address matching and data supply via the internet will optimise business processes at the same time. The settings for address matching are defined and automated according to the company or project requirements. In addition, the transfer and collection of cleansed address data can be automated within the company and take place at regular intervals.
- How does the data transfer work with ADDRESSFACTORY AUTOMATIC?
The ADDRESSFACTORY AUTOMATIC system uses the data exchange platform of Online Services for transmitting data to and from Deutsche Post Direkt. The universal data exchange platform supports the following types of access (see also ‘Uploading data’): the interactive uploading of data are made possible by the web interface.
Alternatively, it is possible to transfer your data to the data exchange platform via Secure File Transfer Protocol (SFTP). With this method, you can automate the transmission of data or use an SFTP client as an interface instead of our web interface. We recommend that you use this method if you wish to automate the uploading of data from your IT system or if you regularly use SFTP clients for transmitting data. You can obtain the access details from Deutsche Post Direkt. The result data can also be returned to an external SFTP server.
- How does the process of setting up ADDRESSFACTORY AUTOMATIC work?
You need a user name and password to access ADDRESSFACTORY AUTOMATIC. A Deutsche Post Direkt employee must set up the ADDRESSFACTORY AUTOMATIC system for you. During the setup process, the employee will manually match your data once in order to prepare the ADDRESSFACTORY AUTOMATIC system for the format and structure of your data, select the matching settings that are appropriate for your data and determine the format and structure of the output file(s).
This collection of settings is referred to as a configuration and it effectively acts as a template for all your subsequent matchings with the ADDRESSFACTORY AUTOMATIC system. Whilst a configuration is usually assigned to a user name, if required it is also possible to use several configurations in parallel. In this case, please specify the name of the configuration to be used when you upload the data using an ID in the file name. This provides you with the option of also using ADDRESSFACTORY AUTOMATIC if you wish to regularly upload files with different formats or to perform your matchings with different settings. The number of configurations is limited to an appropriate quantity.
- What do I need to bear in mind with the record format?
It is important that the record format of the files to be matched always remains the same because the configuration is created for a record format specified by you and stored on the server.
- How do I upload my data for a matching with ADDRESSFACTORY AUTOMATIC?
The easiest way of transferring data via Deutsche Post Direkt’s data exchange platform is using the data exchange platform’s web interface. All you need for this at your end is a web browser with access to the public internet. Once you have registered, you will receive a user account and password from us that you can use to upload data to the upload folder of the ADDRESSFACTORY AUTOMATIC system.
In terms of their format and structure, the uploaded files must correspond to the agreements that you have concluded with your adviser at Deutsche Post Direkt. Files that do not correspond to the agreed structure will either be rejected by the system or – if the system fails to detect the deviation – an unnecessary matching will be carried out.
Please remember that the uploaded files are matched immediately. Once the matching is complete, you will be notified by e-mail.
- Do I need to upload the files for matching using ADDRESSFACTORY AUTOMATIC in encrypted format?
You can choose between uploading the file as an unencrypted ZIP archive and using PGP encryption. With this method, you can encrypt the data using our PGP key and then receive the data back in encoded form using your PGP key. The relevant PGP key will be stored in the system. It is also possible to return the data password-encrypted.
- What do I need to bear in mind during the upload process?
The text file to be matched must be uploaded to the upload folder. If you wish to match multiple files via ADDRESSFACTORY AUTOMATIC, you can send these files bundled together in a ZIP archive. All the files in this archive must have the same format and structure as you agreed with Deutsche Post Direkt. Multiple files to be matched should be named using the specified naming convention. If several configurations are available, the desired configuration must also be specified, otherwise the standard configuration will be selected automatically.
- Can I use different match settings for ADDRESSFACTORY AUTOMATIC?
If you have differently formatted or structured input files or you would like different matchings to be carried out with different matching settings, or you want to filter the provided result files in different ways, our Deutsche Post Direkt adviser will assign multiple configurations to you. A single configuration corresponds to one of your use cases. Each of the configurations will be provided with a name and these names will be communicated to you.
ADDRESSFACTORY AUTOMATIC will treat one of the configurations agreed with you as the ‘standard configuration’. The system will then always use this configuration if it does not receive any other information regarding the configuration to be used. Alternatively, you can prompt the system to select a certain configuration by using the character string --<CONFIGURATIONNAME> as part of the name of the uploaded file.
- Can I match multiple files against one another?
With ADDRESSFACTORY AUTOMATIC you can have multiple files cleansed if you upload multiple files that are bundled in a ZIP file. All the files in this archive must have the same format and structure as you agreed with Deutsche Post Direkt. The same matching settings will be applied to each of the files.
If your data are checked for duplicates, the priority order of your files will have an impact on the identification of header duplicates. During this check, ADDRESSFACTORY AUTOMATIC proceeds in the following order: as with ADDRESSFACTORY WEB, your own negative files always have priority over your own positive files. Within the negative and positive files, the system proceeds in alphabetical order. If you want a priority order, you can name your files as follows, for example, ‘A_CustomerData.txt’, ‘B_AdditionalCustomerData.txt’ etc.
Please note: a duplicate matching of your positive files can only be performed if you have agreed matching options for the duplicate check with Deutsche Post Direkt in advance as part of your configuration.
- Can I match my data against negative files?
ADDRESSFACTORY AUTOMATIC offers you the option of working with your own or predefined negative files such as the Robinson list from the DDV (German direct marketing association) or fake names lists. In order to identify the file uploaded as a negative file, choose a name for the file that starts with a minus sign, e.g., ‘-BadPayers.txt’.
Please note: if you upload a negative file to the system, a duplicate check will only be performed if you have agreed matching options for the duplicate check with Deutsche Post Direkt in advance as part of your configuration. If such an agreement has not been made in advance, your matching will be rejected and you will receive an error message.
- At what times is ADDRESSFACTORY AUTOMATIC available?
The systems are available to you seven days a week, twenty-four hours a day. Advance notice will always be provided for scheduled maintenance-related shutdowns etc.
Special features of the ADDRESSFACTORY DIRECT option
- What is ADDRESSFACTORY DIRECT?
ADDRESSFACTORY DIRECT is a service whereby individual enquiries are transferred from Deutsche Post Direkt to the matching system, checked immediately and corrected where necessary. The service is available online.
The direct connection between ADDRESSFACTORY DIRECT and your systems and the short response time of the Deutsche Post Direkt systems enables addresses to be updated within normal working processes. It can be integrated into your applications using a web service interface.
- Can I test ADDRESSFACTORY DIRECT?
ADDRESSFACTORY DIRECT can be tested in various ways. On the one hand, a free-of-charge test server is provided for this. It provides an implementation of the same interface that the real ADDRESSFACTORY DIRECT server also implements. However, the test server only returns static changes to the data transmitted by you and made-up status keys. In order to use the test server, you need to ask us to set up an account for you.
It is also possible to agree a test operation. Here you can test ADDRESSFACTORY DIRECT with real keys and results for eight weeks. Please see the price list (see below) for the terms and conditions or contact our customer service hotline (see below).
- What is the ADDRESSFACTORY DIRECT web service interface?
A web service interface (client) is a local representation of the ADDRESSFACTORY system in your system. The web service client will either be provided by Deutsche Post Direkt (Java) or you can easily generate it yourself (other programming languages).
Web service technology is platform-dependent and is now standard in software development. Thus the ADDRESSFACTORY DIRECT web service can be used from practically any programming environment (e.g., C++, .NET, PHP etc.). The networks of a large number of companies are penetrable for web service enquiries since some WWW accesses are permitted there. In many cases it is not therefore necessary to extend the firewall.
- Is there an alternative way to access ADDRESSFACTORY DIRECT?
For sporadic individual enquiries, we offer you access to the online user interface on which you can enter your data directly and match it. Simply log in using your user name and password at https://service.postdirekt.de/ and follow the links to ADDRESSFACTORY DIRECT in order to reach the user interface.
- Which browsers can be used for the alternative access to ADDRESSFACTORY DIRECT?
The online user interface of ADDRESSFACTORY DIRECT has been tested successfully with Internet Explorer version 8 and higher. Mozilla Firefox can also be used. Alternative browsers such as Safari are not officially supported but have been deployed successfully.
- Are all modules queried automatically?
To perform a matching, specify the configuration settings in advance. Your adviser at Deutsche Post Direkt will be happy to inform you about the relevant options and will provide you with the appropriate configurations for your matchings.
- How long does it take for a result to be received after an enquiry is made?
Response times depend upon the selected network connection. Where there is a good connection over the public internet, the response time is less than five seconds.
- How many enquiries can be made simultaneously?
Enquiries are worked through serially. Each address requires less than two seconds on average. To increase the number of enquiries, ADDRESSFACTORY DIRECT can be run on several clients at once.
- How can customers connect to Deutsche Post Direkt?
The connection to ADDRESSFACTORY DIRECT web services is mainly over the public internet. The protection of your data are ensured by the encrypted transmission protocol HTTPS.
- What needs to be observed when using a firewall?
The system for operating the web service client must be able to make enquiries on the public internet via port 443. Only you or your provider can activate this port.
- On which operating systems does ADDRESSFACTORY DIRECT run?
The web service interface is platform-independent. You can therefore use it with all commercially-available operating systems (e.g., Unix, Linux, Solaris, HPUX, Microsoft Windows, Mac OS).
- How is ADDRESSFACTORY DIRECT integrated in your application?
ADDRESSFACTORY DIRECT should be embedded into your application the moment a new address is recorded in the system, i.e., the address is sent to the data centre and matched immediately after it is entered. You are responsible for establishing a data connection to Deutsche Post Direkt.
Data encryption will generally be taken over transparently from the web service infrastructure. You will be provided with the information relevant for the connection. Deutsche Post Direkt will provide Java programmers with a ready-to-use web service client which is integrated as a type of library into proprietary programs. Together with the web service client, we shall send an example application with which the first tests can be performed even without programming. The web service interface provides programmers who work with other programming languages with tools for their relevant programming environment via the standard web service. For some programming environments, Deutsche Post Direkt will also provide short examples in the web service documentation.
- Who administers ADDRESSFACTORY DIRECT?
Deutsche Post Direkt is in charge of registering ADDRESSFACTORY DIRECT users and activating their accounts. Your internet provider manages the internet connection. You integrate the web service interface into your application and control the application flow and system failure management (e.g., timeouts).
- What are the requirements for the availability of ADDRESSFACTORY DIRECT?
- You must be activated as an ADDRESSFACTORY DIRECT user.
- The web service client must be integrated into your application.
- Port 443 in the firewall must be activated in both directions.
- A data connection from the web service client to Deutsche Post Direkt must be established over the public internet.
- How is the certificate renewed?
The certification key for the Deutsche Post Direkt website (SSL server certificate) is only ever valid for a specific period of time, after which it needs to be renewed with a new certificate. If the certificate has an online link, it will be renewed automatically. If, on the other hand, the certificate is saved locally, it must be replaced manually with the up-to-date certificate in order to ensure continued secure access to our web server.
- How is your application protected against system failure?
With ADDRESSFACTORY DIRECT, Deutsche Post Direkt offers a solution in which all essential system components are designed redundantly. You do not need to take any special measures.
- How are addresses protected against misuse?
Data are transmitted between the web service interface and the reference database of Deutsche Post Direkt using the industry-standard Transport Layer Security (TLS, here https), which is also used in online banking, for example.
- How can you check the cost of your enquiry?
The number of enquiries you make is logged, counted and invoiced accordingly by Deutsche Post Direkt.